Saturday, June 29th, my husband and I had one of the most lovely delayed birthday celebrations I can imagine. That night, Boy two woke up complaining of stomach pain. By the end of Sunday, we were on our way to emergency with what turned out to be appendicitis. Due to the long holiday weekend and a little human error, Boy two’s ordeal was long, even by Canadian standards. Monday morning saw us off to a children’s hospital an hour from home where we got behind some fairly major emergency cases. By 2:00 we had made it to the list for surgery and met with a surgeon. Somewhere around 6:00pm on Monday, still waiting for a spot in the operating room, a tired Boy two observed sincerely . . . “I can see why they make you sign a paper not to sue them.” In addition to exhaustion and pain, he was very hungry. “I just want some meat and some oil,” he burst out a little later. “Mrs. V told us those are the things that fill you up the most. I just wants somebody to get me meat and oil.”
A little after 7pm the call came and we were at last on our way. Boy two was a trooper. The surgery went well, but he needed extra antibiotics and wasn’t well enough to go home yesterday. A visit from his siblings Tuesday afternoon cheered him immensely. We are hopeful, he’ll be home by dinner time today (Wednesday). The nurses and most everyone else we have met are kind and lovely.
As you can imagine, I have not been writing or even thinking about it. All prayers for a speedy recovery for Boy two are much appreciated. The hospital is wonderful but we will be glad when he (and I) can come home. The bees have at last arrived at County Road 21. Swimming lessons begin today. We miss our kittens. And we tolerate most everything better when our family is together.
I am sorry to be bringing up a very, very bad day again. Blame the forgiveness project. After the whole miscarriage, pass out repeatedly, call 911 incident in the spring, I ended up at the hospital of my not-choice. The paramedics were wonderful. They acted at all times as if something was wrong with me and I needed help. Given my state, I found their attitude encouraging.
Once at the ER, I was left in the hallway for more than an hour. This did not feel nice, but at least I got to keep the paramedics. After that, they rolled me into an empty room and shut the door. Here, I inherited nurse primary and nurse other. For another couple of hours they did as little as possible to assist me. By request of my husband, I received oxygen and an IV drip. Otherwise, I was told to walk to the bathroom and sighed at when it was explained that I couldn’t go two steps without passing out. Help bells were rung and ignored when my husband was worried about how long I had passed out for, or about me having a seizure. Nurse primary was rather uncomfortable with the sight of blood. (It made it hard for us to develop a positive relationship as my entire condition was all about continual bleeding.)
Dr. in charge, came by a couple of times, as in twice, possibly three times, for about 45 seconds each time. He was sure the worst was past and I’d be going home soon. It was difficult to see what he was basing his diagnosis on, as no one, nurse or doctor, ever did an assessment of me. In fact, oddly, until I was transferred to the angelic OB/GYN’s no one actually touched me, except to draw blood. They glanced briefly at my face, but mostly they looked at their charts or the machines that told them about me.
That was in March. This is December. I know. I should have forgiven them by now. I have tried not to think about them. They kind of popped out after I thought about vegetable man. Did I mention also that my disgust for them feels justified?
I too have treated people as interruptions rather than human beings. I have failed to see fear and vulnerability, and so failed to provide empathy or care. I have failed to see the people I am assigned to care for, bleeding to different kinds of death right in front of me.
To the nurses and doctor assigned to me that day, I forgive you. I have been you too. May we all have fresh eyes to recognize the very real needs around us. May we have to grace to respond with compassion, and the humility to say, I’m sorry. May you and your families be much blessed this Christmas and always.